She Went to War: Indiana Women Nurses in the Civil War

TitleShe Went to War: Indiana Women Nurses in the Civil War
Publication TypeMagazine Article
Year of Publication1990
AuthorsSeigel, Peggy Brase
MagazineIndiana Magazine of History
Issue Number1
Date Published1990/03

The four years of the Civil War provided unprecedented opportunities for Indiana women to expand their traditional domestic roles. As men rushed to volunteer as soldiers following the surrender of Fort Sumter, South Carolina, in April, 1861, women devised ways both to help the war cause and to survive financially. Confronted with reports of widespread disease in military hospitals and camps and of neglect and chaos following battles, Indiana women also looked for ways to help the stricken soldiers. Many were inspired by Florence Nightingale; some saw the Civil War as a moral crusade, at once the climax of a long struggle to end slavery and a chance for women to prove themselves capable and equal in a man's world. Others saw nursing opportunities as a badly needed source of income. For a mixture of reasons, then, Hoosier women left their homes to try to serve in hospitals and camps.

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